Bound to You:The Complete Novel

By: Vanessa Booke

To: Rebecca Gellar

From: [email protected]

Subject: Interview Invitation

“Ms. Gellar,

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to come in for an interview for a position at StoneHaven Publishing Co…”

I re-read the email over and over, letting reality set in a little more each time. The obsessive part of me has compulsively checked my inbox every five minutes, deathly afraid that the email will magically disappear. I’ve even forwarded it to two different emails, just to make sure I’m not dreaming it up. Everything is going exactly how I had hoped. I’m moving to New York and now I have an interview for my dream job. This is really happening. The past four years of working my ass off has finally paid off.

StoneHaven Publishing Co. is one of New York’s oldest and most respected independent publishers. They’re well-known for their debut authors, and I haven’t seen one that hasn’t become a bestseller on any of the major lists – NY Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly. The thought of potentially working with one of them sends a warm rush of excitement through me. I have to admit I love the written word. There’s just something about reading a story that makes me happier than anything else in the world. Even chocolate. And for me that says a lot, because I love my chocolate. My hips even agree.

The timing of this email literally couldn’t be more perfect. In less than two days, I’ll be on my way to the Big Apple. Carol Livingston, my best friend and college roommate, whom I haven’t seen in over two years, will be picking me up at the airport, and then my new life begins.

“You know, you don’t really have to move all the way to New York City,” Mom says, slowly unzipping my hideous pink suitcase covered in glittered Hello Kitty stickers. As much as I want to, I can’t get rid of the bag—my grandmother gave it to me. She has a thing for cats and the color pink, and the fusion of them together equaled my college graduation gift.

My mother isn’t the sort of woman to be in her pajamas all day. She’s always quick to get dolled up, even if it’s just her and me in the house, so I’m pretty sure this current choice of outfit is an open protest to me going to New York. It’s one o’clock in the afternoon and she’s still wearing her overnight pajamas, fluffy pink slippers, and her baby blue curlers. It’s the twenty-first century, but I still can’t convince her to use an actual curling iron for her hair.

I’ve been trying to avoid the ‘goodbye’ conversation for the past week. I sort of sprang moving across the country on Mom and she’s still upset with me. Despite the fact that I’m twenty-four, she still acts like an overprotective mother bear. I’m pretty sure the only reason she hasn’t locked me in my room is because my father convinced her to be civil with me while he’s away. He’s a truck driver, and most weeks he’s driving up to Northern California, delivering barrels of wine to local restaurants.

For the past week, my mother’s been trying to convince me not to leave Los Angeles. She’s told, asked, and even pleaded with me to stay. There’s no convincing her that this is the right move, and there’s no convincing me that it isn’t. Dad always tells me that I got my stubbornness from her. I think he might be right. We’re both relentless in our nature.

“I know you’re worried,” I say, grabbing the last pile of outfits off my bed and stuffing my phone back into my pocket. There isn’t enough time in the world to try to explain to her why I needed to leave California ASAP.

“Of course, I am. I don’t understand why you’re moving across the world.”

“Don’t exaggerate.”

“I’m not, I think you should stay and find work here. You won’t like it in New York.”

“This is a great opportunity. I’m surprised you’re against it, you always told me to go for my dreams,” I say. “And you were always the one saying how living in New York was such a big deal for you when you were my age.”

“I think it’s great you’re going after your dreams, Rebecca, but I just wish that meant you living in Los Angeles. How do you know if you’ll even like New York?”

It’s true. I’ve never been to New York City. I’ve only seen it in pictures, movies, my mother’s old postcards, and reruns of Sex and the City. But the thought of going somewhere new is exciting. I need it. Staying in California means facing reality, and my reality is I’m recently single, because my boyfriend of three years cheated on me with his TV co-star. I’ve permanently set Miles’s ringtone to Puddle of Mudd’s She Hates Me.

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